Can Netravati River Diversion project solve City's water woes?

Can Netravati River Diversion project solve City's water woes?

It means end of the road to augmenting City’s water supply unless alternative sources are put in place.

During the recent Assembly session, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa  remarked that the City had to look beyond Cauvery to fulfil its water requirement. An expert committee was also constituted to find out solutions. Experts in the water sector have listed these options to address Bangalore’s water woes. The often repeated Netravati River Diversion Project tops the list among other options.

Netravati, which originates at Gangamoola, flows through Mangalore before joining Kumaradhara River at Uppinangady and flows into the Arabian Sea. “Eventhough, this water source is 400 km away from Bangalore it can be pumped into the City as it is being done in the case of Cauvery water,” he said. Nearly, 900 Million Litres Per Day (MLD) of water can be brought to the City, the same quantity of water that is being supplied from Cauvery to Bangalore, he added.

Earlier, the BWSSB had taken up a proposal in this connection but had later abandoned due to the magnitude of the work involved. The State should implement this project, said the official. Yet another option is to divert water from Hemavathi river, a tributary of Cauvery, that flows near Kunigal in Tumkur district. Implementation of this project was one of the priority areas in the BJP manifesto in the recent BBMP polls. During monsoon the river causes huge floods, which can be diverted to Kumudvathi and Arkavathi valleys.
A BWSSB engineer also suggested construction of dams at Hebbal, Koramangala, Vrishabhavati and Challaghatta valleys to store rainwater.

Even if all these options do not work out construction of a desalination plant at Mangaore can be a way out, an expert opined. A desalination plant could be constructed at Mangalore to draw water from Arabian Sea.

“ At the plant water drawn from the Arabian Sea can be processed  and later supplied to the City through pipelines extending to over 350 km,” he added. The Rain Water Harvesting initiative in the city exudes some optimism.